17th September 2019

Avalanche Awareness: Films to Get You Educated

Written by Jack Nicholl

Instructor Kath James has put together a list of her top five films that will inspire you to find out more about avalanche safety.


This winter we’ll be heading to Scotland on our Scottish Winter courses throughout February and March. Avalanche safety education is an important factor in these courses, and we even do a dedicated 2-day course to look at the subject in more depth.

Below are five films chosen by Plas y Brenin Instructor Kath James, an experienced avalanche awareness educator, to get you inspired to find out more about avalanche safety.


Find out more about Snow & Avalanche Matters

Avalanche Canada: Know Before You Go

Avalanches don’t discriminate, they can affect anyone who is in the mountains. Know before you go will help you to think about safe travel before you head into the snowy hills.

“It doesn’t matter if you have made thousands of good calls – all it takes is one bad call and that is one too many. Some days the mountains are screaming GET OUT OF HERE and some days they are saying come on in – it’s time to party.” – Jeremy Jones

BBC Scotlands Adventure Show – Be Avalanche Aware App

An excerpt from the Adventure Show, which had a feature on the Scottish Avalanche Services ‘Be Avalanche Aware app’. In 2011 the “Be Avalanche Aware” initiative was developed following a collaboration between many agencies and groups from throughout the UK and further afield with the objective of addressing the avalanche situation in Scotland. It’s still an essential tool for anyone headed out in the Scottish winter mountains.

EpicTV Avalanche – Planning and Preparation

In this video from the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, you will be introduced to the important steps of planning and preparing before heading to the mountains. This includes the risks of avalanche terrain and what elements you need to consider in the Avalanche Advisory report in order to make smart decisions and keep yourself safe.

National Avalanche Centre USA – Avalanche Problems Explained

Not all avalanches are made the same. As a result, travel and decisions in avalanche terrain are influenced by the kind of avalanche you expect to encounter – National Avalanche Centre USA

Backcountry Basics: Route Finding in Avalanche Terrain

As head forecaster at the Utah Avalanche Center, Bruce Tremper knows a few things about making wise decisions while traveling over avalanche terrain. Bruce shares some tips on avoiding terrain traps and identifying ‘critical decision spots.’

Avalanche Basics | LAB SNOW

There are a few basic things that you should know. Risk reduction starts at home. A close look at the avalanche bulletin will tell you what’s to be expected on the following day. Combined with a topographic map, the bulletin allows you to locate potentially dangerous areas and select or eliminate routes using the graphical reduction method. Before we explain how that works, we will go and stick our noses back into the snow!

Use this winter to add to your mountaineering skills and knowledge. We offer a comprehensive list of winter skills courses for winter walking, mountaineering and climbing. Winter navigation, safety, and avalanche awareness are always included in these courses to help you stay safe in the snow.

Welsh Winter Hillwalking –  If you’ve got some hillwalking experience and want to learn how to travel the mountains confidently during the seasons when the weather is unpredictable and the length of day may make visibility uncertain, this is the course you need.

Welsh Winter Skills – Up your winter walking game with our intensive, two-day winter skills course in spectacular Snowdonia scenery. We’ll teach you basic winter safety skills on a practical course out in the stunning winter landscape.

Welsh Winter Mountaineering – Exploring the mountains in winter is an exciting challenge, and ultimately a very rewarding one. The feeling of reaching a peak having navigated varied, icy and snowy terrain is like no other and offers summit views that are unbeatable. Learn to gain your independence in the winter mountains on this course.

We are also heading up to Scotland in winter 2020 for our Scottish courses – find out more about our base in Scotland and see a full list of our Scottish Winter courses below.


Find out more about Scotland 2020